Updated: Dec 10, 2019
“So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
Throughout the past two years, I have been trying to cultivate what Struck Inside Out is truly about. What do I want this space to be for my readers and I? What am I trying to accomplish within these walls?
When I first created this blog, I wrote the tag line, “Consciously choose your thoughts; happily create your life.” I wanted and I still do want to have a positive, uplifting and motivational message for my readers, because I think so much in our world today portrays the opposite. In my opinion, it’s refreshing to see something that exhibits encouragement and hope.
That being said, I have written posts on here that wouldn’t be considered to encompass the entirety of buoyant, cheery optimism. There are many times that I don’t feel that way; there are more times than none where I feel just the contrary.
Sometimes I hesitate to divulge the whole truth of myself - the authenticity of my shadow - because I feel I have to fit into this paradigm of Struck Inside Out’s identity. I’ve held back many times on publishing posts that I didn’t deem appropriate for this page out of fear of people looking at me differently or losing followers and readership on my social media outlets. I thought that by going against the “theme” of my page, by not advocating pure positiveness, that I was somehow letting my readers down.
But the truth is, much of the beauty in our lives exists in our shadows. Some of the most amazing transformations that occur are in our sadness, anger, fear, and depression. Many people don’t like to look these things straight in the eye though because society considers them to be shameful or ugly. I happened to take on those beliefs too by not posting articles that revealed too much about myself.
I think I am doing a disservice to my readers and myself though by omitting those articles from a blog that promotes authenticity, inspiration and whole living. The world “whole” contains the entirety of things: both good and bad, both light and shadow, both love and hate. We are all made of these elements; these are the tools we were equipped with for the many lessons we came here to unravel.
What if the truth of my own issues, the things I deal with on a daily basis, were exactly what someone needed to hear? What if my perception on heartbreak, loneliness, regret or resilience was just the insight someone was looking for but hadn’t yet found? What if by writing about how I feel, whether the topic was embarrassing or not, was helping someone else who was going through something similar?
I was inspired by my wise beyond her years friend, Nicole Oman, (check out her amazing work at Gaia Blooming) to write something more vulnerable than most of my posts. Two weeks ago she posted a video about her struggles with codependency while her husband was out of town. She spoke her bare and honest truth of missing him while he was away and her struggles of thinking what could possibly happen on a “guys” trip. She spoke of how she needs to remind the inner, little girl inside of her that she is safe and okay.
I saw her video late Saturday night after I got off work and I listened to it on my drive home. She is someone who I never pictured dealing with thoughts like that; someone who is happily and beautifully married; someone who is “stronger” than dealing with those kinds of convoluted thoughts. It made me realize that you never really know what anyone is going through and that most of us are experiencing the same things.
Her vulnerability in that video was exactly what I needed to hear in just that precise moment. One of the lessons I know I need to learn is trusting in myself. Something I don't often like to admit is that many times I’ll look to others for their opinions or input on things and I’ll second-guess my own innate wisdom. That same inner trust translates into relationships with others where it’s hard for me to discern whether someone is authentic in their words and actions.
In these moments I see myself as a little girl who is straining to be seen and heard. I see a smaller, younger and more scared version of myself that is desperately trying to find something protected and secure. I have to remember to tell the small, anxious girl inside of me: You are safe. You are okay.
I always think that with age and more experience, these unnerved thoughts will eventually fade away and just disappear. But the truth is, I’ve had them for much of my life and it’s something I’m going to have to learn to deal with. I’m always going to have my fear; I have to accept the fact that it’s copilot to this journey of mine. Without it, I wouldn’t take the time to try and figure myself out and discover more of who I truly am.
Who I truly am is going to change many times throughout my life too, but by being vulnerable enough to admit and accept these things, I am more equipped to deal with them when they pop up. Life is about how we react to what is going on around us and within us.
I always have to remember: I am safe. I am okay.
“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole” -C.G. Jung